Slots gross tumbles at Harrah's Philadelphia
'Maybe people aren’t enjoying playing them.'
Slot revenue at Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos fell more than 6 percent last month over the previous year, according to a report issued today by the state Gaming Control Board.
The biggest loser: Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino in Chester. Harrah’s saw its slots action drop a whopping 15 percent off last September’s take, continuing a trend. Last September, Harrah’s reaped $20.3 million month from its slot machines; last month $17.2 million.
Total gaming revenue at Harrah’s has tumbled from its peak of $328.4 million in 2007 to $259.8 million in 2012.
Other Pennsylvania casinos that took a hit last month included Presque Isle in Erie which was down 14.5 percent; The Meadows, southwest of Pittsburgh, which was down 12.1 percent; and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course near Harrisburg, down 11.2 percent.
Bucking the trend was the recently-opened Valley Forge Casino Resort which saw a gain of 14.2 percent, making it the only casino in the state which saw some improvement. But Valley Forge, which opened the day before April Fool's last year, had a total take that was only a third of Harrah's.
Casinos across the country have seen slots proceeds slip this year, said David G. Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“To an extent, it’s a nationwide phenomenon, even in Las Vegas,” Schwartz said. “At least if you look at the past couple of months the table games seem more robust.”
Schwartz said that until this year Pennsylvania had “pretty robust” growth.
“Now it seems to have leveled out,” he said.
Schwartz said he did not have any scientific reason to explain the decline in slots proceeds.
“Maybe people aren’t enjoying playing them.”